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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 26, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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he said it was because of the threat of an invasion of cuba. i have no interest in that. no, no, speeches by nixon. kennedy said to me, i imagine, they did something so foolish and dangerous based upon a gubernatorial race by a defeated presidential candidate. that shows you how little they understand our system. they said to me, what the hell, we don't understand their system very well either. [applause] [laughter] . .
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>> if he thinks that i should apologize for kennedy's success in prevailing, i ain't going to do it. i would just say finally that in one of the many biographies of senator ted kennedy that appeared several weeks ago, it it was reported that during this last 15 months or so of his life since he received the death sentence from his doctors, knowing that everyone in his household because he's did most
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of the time on the cape, that he would rise in the morning, get to the top of the stairs and the lowdown in that great booming voice of his, "i am still here ." i am here today to tell you that i am still here. [applause] h[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> here is a look at our
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thanksgiving schedule. the next, remarks from ludacris on the importance of philanthropy. later, america's future and the place in the world. at 8:00, the first of three nights of the c-span's original documentaries on the iconic homes of the three branches of the government, starting with the supreme court. >> tomorrow, dawn kpeck ofi an update on the commercial and real-estate markets. then, author of the walmart effect with charles fishman. after that,sidney hart. "washington journal", live on
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friday, 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. friday, parliament opens its chambers as the youth parliament debates in the house of commons. also, jayson blair on why he fabricated and plagiarized news stories. also, have world the threat's been over height? sunday, two programs on democracy and the internet, including the university of virginia panel. facebook founder chris hughes on how social networking is changing the political process. this holiday weekend on c-span. >> thanksgiving weekend on c- span, american icons, three nights of original documentaries on the icon mccombs of the three branches of the american
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government, beginning tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the supreme court. then, friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, inside america's most famous home, the white house. our visit shows the grand public places as well as those rarely seen spaces. saturday at 8:00, the capital, the history, art and architecture of one of america's most symbolic structures. american icons, three memorable nights, starting tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. the dvd set is $24.95. you can order it online. >> now, remarks from actor and recording artist ludacris on the importance of community service and what his organization is doing to help youths in need. he spoke last month for an hour.
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> good afternoon and welcomeo the national press club. i am a reporter with usa today and president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists and are committed to the future of journalism by providing programming and education, and fostering a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our web site. on behalf of our 3500 members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and a guest in the audience today, and also
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welcome those of you that your watching us on c-span. we of looking forward to today's speech. afterwards, i will ask as many questions from the audience as if time permits. please hold your applause so we have as much time as possible. if you hear applause, it may be from the guests and members of the general public and not necessarily from the working press. i would like to introduce our head table guest and ask them to stand briefly. from your right, kelly wright, anchor and reporter of the fox news channel april ryan, white house correspondent and washington bureau chief. linda kramer jennings, washington editor for "glamour" magazine. senior business editor for national public radio. roberta shields, president of
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the ludacris foundation and chrises mom credichris' mom. we will speak over our speaker for a second. laurie russo, managing director for stanton communications. barry florence, the publicist of the ludacris foundation. cynthia tucker, a columnist for the atlanta journal and constitution. paul rodriguez, managing director. janice crump, senior director for special projects for the committee on house administration of the u.s. house of representatives. finally, president of the -- [unintelligible] [applause]
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our guest today could probably give a crash course on a time management. when he is not making a record or discovering the next half pop star, filming a movie, developing a clothing line, chris ludacris bridges is dedicating time and money to help america's young people become meaningful contributors to their communities ludacris is perhaps best known for his sometimes controversial rap lyrics. you may remember his song "politics, obama is here pirko it was not well received by the then presidential candidate. he has had a memorable movie roles, including a car thief and the oscar-winning film "crash." just a few weeks ago, he and a fellow rap star donated $10,000 to help victims of flooding in
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advanta, his hometown. our guest will tell us about the ludacris foundation, which has donated $500,000 and more than 2500 hours of service to support grass-roots organizations that help young people the organization's annual thanksgiving through christmas holiday program has provided food baskets to more than 1000 families and christmas toys to thousands of children in hospitals and low income communities. he understands the potential of this nation's children. he wrote his first run at age nine and begin to wrap competitively as a teenager. he studied music management before going on to launch his own label and production company. in 2005, he became the first hip-hop artist to ring the opening bell on wall street.
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please join me in giving a warm, national press club welcome to chris ludacris bridges. [applause] >> thank you very much for that wonderful introduction. she is definitely right. i did right by for song at 9 years old. i do not have the audio. when i was 9 years old, my first song, i wanted to run with girlfriend. once i actually turned 10 years old, i could sing that song with the utmost confidence ever. thank you very much. first of all, i want to thank the national press club and the general public. the general public, make some noise. [applause]
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if those good for the general public to come not to and support me. this is my first time doing this. of course, we want to connect with all of the policy-makers, and the movers and shakers of the united states of america. that is why i am here. that is why i am doing this luncheon. i feel like -- the gratitude is out of this world right now for having me do this. it really quick, i want to thank everybody for this honor. i want to thank you for inviting me to speak. the recorders of the industry and all of the change agents, you, the press, has a very special responsibility, and that is to be a mirror for us to see ourselves, our community, our country, and the rest of the world, and a truly respect the rule that you play in our system. i am sure that many of you are
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asking why would i want to speak at the national press club in washington, d.c., and why would they invite me? i make my living by stringing together verses or playing a part in some movie or television series that you may all have seen, "law and order," by the way. what would ludacris have to say? what would i have to say about leadership? i am going to say a lot of different things, so take what i say a word for word. you wonder if i plan to run for office, maybe for president in 2012. you do not have to worry about me doing that. when i speak of leadership, i am talking about leadership that is a political. leadership that is very basic. there is a cry for it. that is what the last election
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was all about. people were saying we needed something fresh and new, something that defies convention. america has a great promise, but to me, it is a promise that is unfulfilled. not everyone gets an equal chance at it, and some never get a chance at all. not everyone believes tomorrow can be better than today or that the promise is even meant for them at all. it is not right with all of our resources. every citizen is not afforded the opportunity to be the best they can be if they want. to treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you held them become what they are capable of being, that is a promise fulfilled in my opinion. our communities need fixing. our systems are badly broken. we cannot wait on the
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government, the institutions, social programming and policies alone to fix our communities. we have to look at other sources. in today's world, we have new issues and challenges. the old way of looking at them have not rendered the outcomes i feel we want. trust bonds have been broken. logical thinking, while necessary, is not sufficient. we need lateral thinking by that, i mean thinking outside of our current frame of reference. we need a new type of leadership. maybe i will run for president in 2012. people are looking in a different direction for philanthropic leadership. that is something i feel like i have done in the fullest of my capabilities. leading by example is something that my foundation has done.
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with my mother, the ludacris foundation was formally established in december, 2001, to sustain my commitment to make a difference in all lines of youth. the families and communities throughout the united states of america. my foundation inspires youth through education and memorable experiences to live their dreams, thereby uplifting families, communities, and fostering economic development. let me share these with you. leadership and education is preparing everyone and all of the youth to be successful with an emphasis on white education
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matters in making a lifelong difference. not only education, but educating yourself. insuring that communities and residents care about them. i feel like i do that by leading by example and continuing to go to these communities, because if i were not there, they would not know how much we care about them. living healthy lifestyles is geared toward youth to address issues like healthy eating, childhood obesity. we help young people achieve their dreams through the encouragement of the principles of success. we aim to show young people in america that they are the builders of their own future. it is not necessarily the cards that they are dealt but how they play their cards. since two dozen one, the
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ludacris foundation has donated well over $2 million to support organizations. our programs and support initiatives have directly infected thousands upon thousands of lives. what i am more proud of is the fact that we have over 10,000 hours of invested hands on service. that means that i do not just cut the checks. i am there personally to make sure i know exactly where my money and anybody that donates money is going. that is extremely important to me. as a result of hurricane katrina that the devastation, 20,000 families were relocated or migrated to the city of atlanta. i along with my foundation, my mother, and another donated over $100,000 in support of families victimized by the hurricane.
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we provided housing, assistant, counselling assistance, we provided job referral assistance to 15 impacted families relocated to the atlanta area. these families received four months of free rent, free furnished housing, a refrigerator full of food, clothing, toiletries, linens, all because we not only dedicated our own supplies to these people, but we partnered up with the logo -- we partnered up with the local radio station. another example, in 2006, i released a song "run away love pirko it depicted children running away from a very dysfunctional life situations. my foundation partner with a national runaway switchboard. it any song that i put out, i
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want to make it a movement, not just a single. we help bring awareness to the problem of runaway youth in america. last year, i started a new public education campaign, including a new psa that was distributed across tv stations across the country. the initiative was spearheaded with several support to increase awareness of the issues facing america's runaways. this year, we are continuing this effort. a lot of people do not even understand that over 1 million kids run away from home each and every year. i feel like this is a problem that many people do not understand about. i wanted to make people aware of this problem and how it can lead
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to others. last christmas, we hosted an event in the four cities for over 500 disenfranchised children, six to 17 years old, each event hitherto the specific age of the youth involved, but the common theme was to create a fund a memorable experience for all of them. the children were treated to the games, entertainment, great food, and at some locations, the children were able to outfit a teddy bear and take pictures with santa claus. these children were selected by partnering with the community base and organizations. we were able to offer our own -- i am extremely proud about this. we offered our own metro atlanta stimulus package.
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we've partnered with a local dealership and gave away 20 cars to individuals that needed a hand up during these tough economic times. that is something that is extremely important to me. we give a hand up, not a hand out. i only want to help those that want to help themselves. that is what i love to do. having a vehicle to get back and forth to work and day care will make a difference especially in these hard, economic times. it touched me to personally give the keys of these cars to these individuals and to hear their stories. we got over about five dozen different letters, and out of them, you can understand how hard it could possibly be for us to pick 20 out of this 5000. when i sit here and say i always wish we can do more, i honestly
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say that. i feel like that the more that i do, the more that i can give back. the reason i am up here today is to let everybody know i try to lead by example, in that i feel like i have a certain amount of power and influence and a film like others have even more than what i have, and some of them may not feel as they have as much power and influence, but it does not mean that they cannot do their part in giving back. two weeks ago, we raised over $100,000 to support flood survivors. t.i. and myself reached out to our friends to the hip-hop community for help. i know a lot of people like to criticize the hip-hop community. let me tell you what they did within one hour, reaching out to
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them to help our community. i donated $10,000, t.il. donated $10,000 could he was incarcerated at the time. then we turn to friends and colleagues for help, and they did not hesitate. we made over $80,000 in eight hours from the hip-hop community. it is as simple as that. to me, this is the new philanthropy that i am talking about. operating as an organization at the community level day to day. it is not your typical corporate institutional giving, just a group of like-minded individuals pooling their efforts to make a difference. changing the social landscape, one frame at a time.
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secondly, because there are new challenges in education as we all know, there are new challenges in health care, as we all know, and other social issues that affect our views, families, and communities, i feel like we have to approach these challenges with a new language. a form of communication that everyone knows about, a new technical platform, and a broader view community and globalism. social networks and digital platforms are critical for reaching the owners and communicating with constituents. facebook, myspace, youtube, that they are all essential tools in this new philanthropic environment. third, the call for new philanthropic leadership is also a call for new relationships of trust. understanding these communities in need and garnering their
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trust, and the trust of donors, that their contributions will make a direct and positive impact is extremely important to me, which is why all the examples i have given you, i was very hands on it with and personal with. i have many nation -- i have many nicknames. luda-femna is one of them. [laughter] i take the responsibility of leadership in giving back very seriously. i have a deep-rooted tradition of service. i -- as i have more, i will try to do more. i mention these things not to pat myself on the back or brag, but to underscore the responsibility that i feel like we all have to turn back, to reach back, and give back to our communities.
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this should be a time of reflection for all of us to appreciate what we have and what we have given to those in need of our help. this year, i chose the d.c. to host my sixth annual ludacris foundation dinner, and i wanted to reach a national audience. we are recognizing five outstanding individuals for their tireless work and strong commitment to community service. honorees are selected in acknowledgement of the excellence and integrity embodied in their work. this year's honorees include mr. quincy jones, the chairman's award goes to mr. quincy. debra lee, the bet networks, the corporate award.
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in addition, this year, in honor of the foundation's first washington, d.c., dallas, a congresswoman will be bestowed the first ludacris foundation congressional leadership award. all of this i say to make you understand that when we leave washington, the work of the foundation will carry on stronger than before. thanks in part to the success of the benefit dinner, our partners, and the opportunity to get our message across. in the coming months, we look forward to expanding our footprint and doing more in the d.c. area. in closing, i just want to say, again, like a said before, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no one has thought about what everybody sees it.
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we have to have a paradigm shift regarding issues and possible solutions. i should not have to tell you all of that because you know it. thank you very much [applause] >> thank you for sending up your questions. we have lots of them today. your foundation dinner is in washington for the first time. what do you want from washington police make -- what do you want from washington policy makers? >> it is not called a fundraiser for just any reason. we are fund raisers. i have proof that we have actually done. i am one of those individuals that likes to let the work speak for itself. what are we asking for? we are asking for your help with
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it i could talk for days about the specifics of what we could actually want. i feel like i have given you the parameters of how you can help and the information of how you can help predict just for the record, i want everybody to know that our foundation is the ludacris -- is the ludacris foundation.org. >> what do you think could be done if all young celebrities started foundations like you did when you were just 24 years old? >> i feel like there would be no more issues whatsoever. we would almost be on a way to living the perfect lives and in the perfect united states of america. that is the reason why i felt so far -- why fight so hard and put myself in the forefront.
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i put myself in front of this podium for the simple fact that i would love for more celebrities to do the exact same thing that i am doing. not just for celebrities, but for everyone. that is why i put myself in this position. even after all the criticism i have gotten over the past 10 years. at the like i am taking on the responsibility. even though these things have happened, i am not afraid to be in front of you and tackle any of the hard issues with the things that i have done. i feel like there are other celebrities that have not been through half as much stuff as i have been through and they can put themselves in the same position. >> we will get back to the controversy. >> i am sure we will, npc. >> do you plan to expand your
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efforts outside of atlanta, or is the foundation only geared toward youth and individuals in the city of that data? >> which of already expended our reach outside of d.c. from feeding the homeless in miami, from going to hospitals and rehabilitation centers in new york city, from working with maxine waters and going to underprivileged facilities, dealing with kids and families, from doing things in atlanta, georgia, from tactical programs and helping kids that normally cannot get a haircut or new school supplies, from going to another continent, to south africa and helping with aids research -- i can go on and on. the question has already been done. we continue to expand and reach places that we have not already reached.
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we continue to stay consistent in the cities that we have already reached. >> what do you think is the greatest challenge facing the national philanthropic community? >> i would say all of the above. yes, we could use more money, more time, and we could definitely use more of the government's time and leadership. it is as simple as that. it is all of the above. i feel like we could use all of that. some people do not necessarily have money to give. just because you don't have money does not mean you cannot dedicate time. the internet is such a powerful tool these days. if you look at what you can do
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in your own community by donating your time to its service, whether it is rebuilding a school or getting rid of trash in an area, that is another way of giving back, so everybody can do something on their own and help to give back. that is just about you taking the initiative in finding out how you can do that. if we all take care of our own communities, we are on a great way. >> you made a lot of other celebrities you get around. how do you pressure them to give back? what kind of conversations have you had with them about what their responsibility is? >> i pressure them by doing exactly it is what i am doing now. i do this in the hope that other people will say, just in the urban culture, or pop culture in general, how influence is
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extremely important and how so many people say we have so much influence over other people. i am hoping that me being here today and talking to other individuals will help the influential and help pop culture help other people want to do the same thing. i basically tell other celebrities what i just told you all predict with great power comes great responsibility and the feel like any celebrity, even if they did not ask for it, even if they do not realize it at a certain point in being a celebrity, they have a great responsibility and a great influence. >> what inspired you to use your influence in such a positive way? to you have any specific experience to share with us that inspired you? >> i can answer that question
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with one word. that would be the individual that is sitting right next to make my momma. it is as simple as that, my mother. give her a round of applause. [applause] i started in radio. when i was about 19, i started a radio station in atlanta, georgia. i had a certain amount of community service that they required us to do every week. with that being said, those leaders at that radio station, whoever made that decision to say that everyone that works at this station is required to do a certain amount of community service every week, that is also why i feel it has a substantial
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amount to do why i give back so much. as i said before, as my power continues to grow, so does my foundation in the work that we do in giving back. >> speaking of your mother right over there, can you tell us what gives she gave you that help you become the man that you are today? >> i can name a lot of different examples on that particular question. i have come to realize that i think this will help all parents who want their children to be focused and to live a life that they are confident about in terms of following their dreams and setting expectations for themselves. since before i can remember, i don't even know where she got this idea from, -- first of all, i was one of those kids that did
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well in school, but i definitely could say that i hated when my mother gave me extra work outside of my school work. i did not like it at that time. in retrospect, as you get older, you can look back on it and be glad that it happened. she made me, every year, right down my expectations and what i wanted to accomplish in the next year to come. my goals and my ambitions, i had to write down. i remember hated doing it but it made me become the man that i am today. that is why i feel like i am so driven and up here today. that is why i feel like i do not take no for an answer. no matter what, i am never satisfied to a certain degree.
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i always feel like i can do more right your goals down, make your kids do it, have expectations for yourself, go after it your dreams, know what you want, and make sure you do it. if you don't accomplish it, understand why, and make sure you don't make this a mistake or continue going towards that goal. [applause] >> please expand on the work that you have done in providing transportation for families in the city of atlanta. why do you think transportation is so critical? >> in an economy like one that we are in today, i think that is a simple question. you cannot walk or take the bus to be as efficient as you may want to be in order to get the job that you feel you want. if you are lining of job
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interviews and things of that nature, you want to be as efficient as possible. that is as simple as it gets. i wanted to help people that want to help themselves. there was a guy that really touched my heart that came from africa. his entire family had been killed because of the government situation or lack thereof in africa. he came to the united states and started a family of his own. he saw his own daughter get hit by a -- a hit-and-run. he saw his own daughter get hit by a hit-and-run car and all he wanted to do was to try to get a job to provide for his own family. we were able to provide him with his own car.
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despite of what had happened before -- i almost broke down in tears as a grown man when i help this individual. it makes me realize why i work so hard in doing what i do, because to see the reward in which helping individuals like that brings to me, that is all i can possibly ask for. >> in what ways do you distinguish who needs a handout from those that are looking for a hand out? >> with all due respect, i have the family members that are looking for a handout and not day hand-up. it is just something that with all of our giving intuition, it is just something that you can tell. i had a family member e-mail me
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the other day and say something along the lines of, i know why i am asking you this, but -- how do you start off a sentence like that? that automatically puts me on the defensive. i think we all know the difference of people that are looking for a handout and people that are looking for a handup. i know we drive our cars each and every day. we see signs of individuals who are saying this and that. you know if you give them money, whether they are headed to the nearest liquor store or not, i feel like we all individually make that decision based on our own intuition on what we feel pretty all like an say is, it is my intuition. it is just as simple as that.
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>> can you talk a little bit about your foundation sponsorship of d.c. culture shock east coast dance coast competition? >> there are so many things that we do. not vividly, i do not remember too much about the specifics about that but i do know that any initiative trying to help people get off the street or distract them from doing negative things and extracurricular activities, i can definitely say that we are 100% for that and that is why we -- that is exactly why we did that. >> several years ago, and tv ran a special that highlighted your efforts combating aids in poverty in south africa's shantytowns. the you have an update on how your efforts are going? >> we also check back in with everything that we do to try to
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see how everything is going. unfortunately, i can say that the war against aids in africa is very far from being won. i feel like we helped, but i would ask that anyone that came try to help continue that fight as we will continue to win. that is one of those questions that i can honestly say that it is not enough. we have a lot more work to do. there is a lot going on in africa in terms of the aids virus and the epidemic. i feel like we need a lot more help. >> here is a question from one of our local reporters. the rumor is you are going to homecoming at howard university. what is your role this year? >> i think that probably came from a song that came out about
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five years ago, saying i never miss a how worard homecoming. i don't have any involvement with the howard homecoming this year. i am just in the town. i am just a part of that energy. this week, it has everything to do with what i am talking about, giving back, a charity, people coming together, bridging the generation gap, trying to meet capitol hill with the youth. >i feel like there will be a lot of solutions to the problems that are going on today if the youth and the people on capitol hill come together.
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i feel like it is just one entity working and not getting help from another entity. if we all come together and give new ideas and new perspectives, that is where solutions come from. that is what it is all about. >> have you thought about including your message about philanthropy in any of your rap lyrics? >> i would definitely say that "run away love" and others have done it exactly that. with us partnering up with the national runaway switchboard, when i say every song is a movement, that is what it comes down to. absolutely, yes, i try to do what i can but i also tried to stay true to my art form.
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can you expect an entire album from ludacris saying what we should be doing? i am not sure. however, i definitely try to input that in some of my music. >> you seem to have a very strong urge to serve. service is a major part of politics. it sounds like you are on the road to run, but for what? you consider politics? >> i was joking when i said that earlier, but since i have been up at this podium, i am strongly considering running for president in 2012. i feel like i have a very strong chance of winning. >> that would be a forward-
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looking campaign. how do you reconcile your controversial lyrics with your position as a role model for youth? >> that is a great question i don't expect everyone to agree with the use of language that i use. music is an art form in different forms of entertainment, whether it be movies or comedy, i know we all say certain things. regardless of the fact, i know i am here today, and you can see the person that i am giving your intuition, as i said earlier, and i hope that you would understand regardless of my music art form, you see many different sides of who i am. note that ludacris is not one- sided.
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it is as simple as that. i have a big heart. giving back and wanting to make a change in this country and abroad is the most prevalent thing that i can possibly say. >> a lot of people have concerns about violence in hip-hop music. what is your opinion? >> another good question. i don't attribute violence to hip-hop. i attribute violence to ignorance, honestly speaking. that being said, there are a lot of ignorant things going on in the united states of america today, and that is again why i am here in front of you all speaking, trying to make a difference in the ignorance that is going on today, coming forth to try to take the responsibility and try to bring tet -- bring together people to try to change the minds of those that are doing the ignorant things, about trying to say that it starts at home, with
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family, how to change the family structure in america to raise daughters and sons to where they are thinking in the lines of being positive and not giving in to peer pressure. that is exactly why i am here. >> we have a lot of young people in the audience today. they want to know what you think of the most important ways that young people can help and influence each other. >> i think people need to understand that being themselves is good enough. there is always somebody trying to convince them if they are not doing this, they are not cool or they are not up with the times. the best thing they can do is find out what you can do to help in your community. you can lead by example. i think many people think they do not have influence amongst enough people.
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you can have influence over one person. you could be a bigger sister or a bigger brother and have influence over your younger siblings. that, to me, is a reason to try to make a difference, to try to lead by example. what you don't understand it is that whatever you do positive is going to rub off on someone else, or at least spark the seed inside of the brain of the individual that may think differently in terms of making a decision of saying should i do this or should i do this? what i feel that everyone take responsibility. you have to take responsibility matter how young you are. if you look at me as an influence, sit there and say i am going to make a difference in my community. all the greats in history did not necessarily know how they were going to do what they did,
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they just knew they were going to do it. if you make it up in your mind that you are going to do something, there is nothing that will stop you from making it happen. use of your resources and the people that you know and love to make it happen. ask questions. it is okay if you do not know everything. continue to ask questions to get to do exactly what you feel you want to accomplish. >> there was a little addendum to that question. someone asks, are you single? >> that has absolutely nothing to do with what i am talking about up here today. no comment. i am actually not simple. i am taken. except for the general public, ladies in here, it is all good.
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>> can you tell us some of the concrete steps that you took to make it happen for yourself? >> for me being not single? i am not married, by the way. i know what you are talking about. as far as the career, i think it all started with me riding my goals each and every year that my mother made me do outside of school work. it started with that. it was about learning from every mistake. success consists from going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. i think that right there alone has made me successful. people get so discouraged when something goes wrong or when they lose that something or when they fail at something and then they just quit. i will tell everybody out
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there, stop quiting. i do not use that word and lot. the word "paid" is a strong word. but i hate quitters. >> what was your best subject in school and your worst? >> the best subject in school was probably english, which leads me to be the best rapper and speaker and actor that i could possibly be. the worst? that is a good question. maybe we need to ask my mom that question. she checked my report cards. i was definitely good in math. believed that. i cannot think of the worst. maybe history. yes, i would definitely say
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history because i was very stubborn as a child, in knowing that where you come from will determine or helps you understand where you are going. at this point in my life, i have learned my mistake of being stubborn about history. that is why i am speaking soulfully about what happened in the past and about where we are going today. >> what is the coolest thing about being a celebrity? >> the coolest thing about being a celebrity the fact that we already make a lot of money and people still give us stuff for free. [applause] you have money but they -- it is the greatest thing in the world, man. it does not matter how much money you have.
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you still appreciate the hell out of getting something for free. with that being said, the other greatest thing about being a celebrity is when you are able to provide for your family and make money. it is like you are able to provide certain individuals that you love with jobs, or you are able to provide for your family or are able to do certain things for your mother and father that you felt like you owe them because of all the things that they do for you. sometimes you get jobs for the people they love and they do not do the job the correct way, and you end up having to show them some tough love. at the end of the day, it is the point in which you can provide a person with a job that means the most. >what is the worst thing about being a celebrity?
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with all due respect to the media, with all due respect, how some of you -- i am saying some of you, try to paint certain stories just to get a story in a negative light especially when it comes to rappers. it is almost like you make it seemed a certain way just as you can get people to read whatever is that you are putting out. i do not appreciate that. but i feel like it comes with the territory. there has to be certain things that are like, damn, i do they do it to me? it is not even true. i sit there and read it and i think what would you even say something like that. it matters to me that the people that know me and love me know who i am proud they can read
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something and automatically say that is something that i did not do. it is as simple as that. >> you are going to be confused today because we are in media group and we are going to give you something for free. have you ever discovered a talent on the street? >> on the d.c. streets, there are people beating on drums and doing the go-go music. what was the question? what made me want to star singing and rapping. every morning, i would wake up as a child and my father would be playing some music, whether it was michael jackson or prints. i felt like it was just a part of me. i started loving music, period.
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from there, hip-hop was born. i just gravitated toward it because i had such a natural love for music. >> this is a very polite question from one of our students. as the artists within a pop mature, or get old, do you expect the music of hip-hop to mature as well? >> do i expect the music to mature? i feel like it already has. i cannot speak for all of hip- hop. i feel like it is very diverse and there is a lot of versatility, which makes have popped so great. i feel like we all have the choice to listen to what kind of music we want to listen to. that is what makes it so great. after this interview, do i think
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other people will feel like it has matured from being here? i feel like that is close enough to understand that hip-hop has matured. >> being one of the first southern hip-hop artists to work with a legendary new york producer, could you briefly describe your experiences with him? . .
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>> we are almost out of time. let me remember future speakers. on the 26, the ceo of costco will address u.s.-china relations in general and discuss trade relations. on the 13th, check fillet's founder and ceo will discuss their companies unprecedented sales growth despite a struggling economy, and their recipe for success, hospitality, and customer service. november 16, the chairman of the national transportation safety
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board will join us. i would like to present our guest with his official media freebie, the npc mug. [applause] >> did i tell you? thank you, thank you, thank you. >> before up we conclude our program, i'm calling to ask you to come to stay in your seats, and if you will stay seated, i will ask the last question. can you explain how you chose the area code in your hips and go to the hit single, area code? >> honestly speaking, people take from it what it will. it came from the simple fact of me always been in one city and
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being able to tour and do shoes in different cities. whether we collected numbers from different numbers of individuals, the first time we visited those cities, that is where the song came from. it is nothing specific. what are you going to say to a young person who is thinking about running away from home? you can talk to a teacher, a friend, and the national run away switchboard. there have it. [applause] >> i would like to thank you all for coming today. i would also like to thank the national press club staff members malinda cook, pat nelson, and joanne boost. also think you to the national
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press club library for its research. the video archive is provided by the broadcast operations center, and our events are available for free download of itunes as well as our website. non-members may purchase transcripts, audiotapes, and video tapes by calling 202 662 5798. for more affirmation, go to our website at www.press.org. i think you all, and we are adjourned. -- i thank you all, and we are adjourned. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> friday, for the first time in british history, parliament opens its chambers to non-mps as the parliament debates in the house of commons. also, jason blair on why he
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fabricated and plagiarized news stories. saturday, a look back at the cuban missile crisis with former kennedy advisers ted sorensen and karaokes and. more on how the political process has been affected by the internet. and the founder of facebook on how social networking is changing the political process. >> yeas 60, nays 39, the motion is agreed to improve awhirl >> with that vote, the senate visits health care bill to the floor. starting monday and through december, follow the debate and how the bill would affect access to medical care, the public option, texas, abortion, and
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medicare. c-span 2, the only network that brings to the senate, gavel-to- gavel. next, in the current state of the conservative music -- movement. this portion is 25 minutes. "washington journal" continues. host: craig shirley, let's start with the future of the conservative movement. news reports of the last couple of days about a battle within the republican party, some sort of purity test put to candidates for 2010. some of the 10 conservative principles out there are smaller government, smaller national debt, a smaller deficit by opposing the obama stimulus bill, health care by opposing government, opposing cap and trade, opposing car jack.
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the word "opposing," are you concerned that the conservative movement is trying to be defined by the opposition rather than defining itself? guest: these 10 points are restatement of what has been the conservative and for the most part republican principles for the last 30 years. i take it as a good sign. one year ago you could not find a pulse inside the republican party. you would have to put it on resuscitator. now you have a vigorous debate inside the conservative movement over what it stands for. it is proof it is alive, vital and will mount a comeback. there has been a power vacuum on the right for the last eight years. we have had two big parties in america. under bush and others running
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the party they called it big government republicanism. you had the democrats ever since the new deal and the republicans, but the populist right that ronald reagan represented -- there was nothing there. that is now reasserting itself within the conservative movement and eventually within the republican party. host: what factors do you see within the obama administration that make you think there is opportunity for republicans? guest: i think he missed the opportunity to redefine his party as the majority for a generation. if he has governed as he talked about with tax cuts for 95%, going after deficit spending -- if he went after cultural issues like affirmative action he could
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have repositioned the democratic party more to the middle. he surprised a lot of people by going so hard to the left. he has not only gone back to the democratic traditions of big government that go back to the new deal and great society, but has also cast its moorings away from the working man and woman in america. the democratic party have represented them since the time of roosevelt. ronald reagan was the president of the labor union. he made great appeal to blue- collar voters. the democratic party historical league represented them. obama has reorganized the democratic party into the elitist party of america. the american people see a
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concentration of power between the governing elites in washington, monetary elites in austria, entertainment deletes in l.a. he is not only governing from the left, but also on this capitalistic socialism, but it has also cut off the working man and woman in america. that should be very obvious to the powers in the republican party. populist. cuts across all populist host: are you saying that it is not obvious? guest: i don't think they understand it. newton gingrich does. many do not understand yet because they're too busy squabbling. -- newt gingrich's does understand it. host: what names do you see filling the void in the republican party?
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guest: congressman mike pence gets it. gov. sarah palin is talking to a lot of people about their frustration. how they are becoming less and less connected to their own government. and radio talk-show hosts such as rush limbaugh, glenn back, and others -- glenn back, and others. host: some have said that the media and pundits are underestimating sarah palin. your book "rendezvous with destiny" is about how the media underestimated ronald reagan up until the end in 1980. do see a parallel between sarah perron and him? guest: there are some parallels and some obvious differences.
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ronald reagan had been on the national scene from the time of the 1940's as an actor, and in the 1970's as a governor and radio commentator and columnist and lecturer. he had been around for a long, long time before being elected. sarah palin just burst on the scene last year. obviously, they are both underestimated by the elites. there is a great disconnect in 1980. between president carter and gov. reagan. after the debate in cleveland one week before the election, all the political reporters all said that jimmy carter won. the american people by virtue of
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the polling all said that ronald reagan had one. there has always been a disconnect between those in power and those who put them into power. you see it today was sarah palin. the more that she is attacked by elites, the more popular she is with people. there was the famous debate in 1980, one between president carter and gov. reagan which happened one week before the election. to this they the most watched presidential debate in history. host: we have one of the most famous moments from that debate. >and we will get to it in just a minute. it is october 1980 with jimmy
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carter. my apologies that it was not ready to go. let's keep talking about your book. you spoke to carter before this book. guest: it was fascinating. i was surprised to greed it to an interview. i sent him a letter and expected a perfunctory no. within a matter of days and got a call from his office asking if i would like to meet the president. i said i would love to. i thought about arrangements to fly to georgia. and they said no, 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning by phone. i e-mailed a series of questions to his secretary. at my office the next morning, very early -- impressed me that he got up that early -- we went he got up that early -- we went he was very frank about 1976.
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he described himself as an odd duck, conservative on some issues, liberal on others. he was conservative about tax cuts, cleaning up corruption, but liberal on human-rights. that was an odd appeal in 1976. he was clear that he even 30 years later -- you remember, ted kennedy challenge carter in the primaries. none of the animosity had rushed away. there was still resentment on the part of carter towards kennedy. the one thing he noted is that it allowed cultural -- culturally conservative voters,
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especially catholics, to think twice about supporting the president's. he thinks because carter allowed them to be pulled away, it opened up the opportunity before kennedy conceded in 1980. host: let's good to that moment in october of 1980, a debate between reagan and carter. s election day. next tuesday all of you will go to the polls and stand there in the polling place to make a decision. i think when you make that decision and might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?
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is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was four years ago? is there more or less unemployment in the country then there was four years ago? is america as respected throughout the world as it was? if you answer all those questions yes, why then i think your choice is obvious. if you do not agree, if you do not think this course we have been on for the last four years is what you like to see us fall the next four, then i can suggest another choice. guest: i'm glad you showed that. everyone goes back to the cleveland debate. they inevitably go back to his quip "there you go again" which was a funny but laugh line at the time. it was the first presidential debate with a live audience.
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what closed the sale with reagan is when he looked into the camera and asked "are you better off than you were four years ago?" do not forget that at the time he was behind in the polls, but ahead in the electoral college. he ended up having to debate carter to make his case. for the previous month's his campaign had been hammered. he had fallen behind in the polls. to get back in he had to debate. host: what did president carter tell you about that moment? guest: he was always ready to go against reagan. his aides were divided. some bought into the idea that ronald reagan was nothing without his 3x5 cards and that
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carter had a good record as a debater. but carter went back and forth. in his diaries he thought that reagan was a tough debater, and other times he said publicly he thought he would get the best of his opponent. there was a great disagreement inside his campaign. when i interviewed his political pollster, he was dead set against carter debating ron reagan, not because he did not think that carter would not win, but because they have momentum on their side. by agreeing to a debate it would freeze the campaign for a certain number of days and the rest of the campaign would be defined by who won the debate instead of whether or not ronald reagan was up to the task. host: tenn., on the republican
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line. caller: good morning. here is what i have to say -- i think the republicans are cowards. they will not fight. why won't they fight what obviously is going on in this country? when you have a man who is going to prosecute navy seals, many eric holder, the attorney general of the united states averawhich i even hate to say -e will prosecute three navy seals because allegedly, supposedly, a terrorist was captured. he happened to get beaten up during the course of his capture. the republican party and the
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representatives of its and their so-called conservatives are merely cowards. they've will not fight. they will not stand up against the left. i will give the left this much credit -- at least they will fight for what they believe in. guest: um, i understand the caller's frustration which i sometimes feel myself. it does not seem like they are speaking with one clear voice right now. the problem is, it is a food fight right now. it is like a the omegas versus the deltas and who will have primacy over the campus.
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they cannot effectively take on president obama and the democrats. they always do get it together. nature, abhors a vacuum -- nature of pores of vacuabhors a. at some point there will get their act together and start not only to make their case, but the case effectively against democrats. host: wyoming, good morning. caller: happy thanksgiving. give me some time. conservatives [unintelligible] death for dignity, and of the voted for the citizens, voted twice for that, the conservative government wanted to go after
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the doctors. when states want medical marijuana laws approved, the conservatives wanted to go after the distributors or doctors. then you had terry shivo. you call yourself a pro-life and yet you are for the death penalty , deathwars. when a baby is born you want the mother to go to work. or else she is a welfare mother. -- and get you are for the death penalty, and for wars. guest: i agree that the republican party should be ideologically consistent. i'm speaking for myself. i think it is intellectually dishonest for the republican
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party to tell the people to overturn roe v wade, but on the other hand we want to federalize marriage. of virtually all these behavioral issues in the tradition of what founders envisioned and ronald reagan articulated -- most of not all of these behavioral issues concerning marriage, divorce, child-ring, should be decided by the state's -- child rearing, should be decided by the states. the toothpaste got out of the tube with terry, faith-based initiatives, and other things offered to the social right to nationalize instead of leaving them where they belong, on the local level. this is a battle to decide once and for all with a social right the stands for.
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host: the next phone call comes from syracuse, new york. caller: ia uaw member. at the beginning of the segment id said that craig shirley was against carcheck. i doubt that he has ever read the labor act. it never eliminated the secret ballot. section nine government's secret ballot elections. it never deleted language. it added a new paragraph. guest: first of all, ralph, i am formally from syracuse myself. go orange.
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i do not think that the introduction did say anything about the car check because i believe a secret ballot is secret. whether in political campaigns or union elections. host: here is a message from twitter. guest: i think gingrich is one of the most important thinkers, leaders in the republican party today, the conservative movement. he gets it, understands what the fight is about -- there are others who are doing a good job, making the case. gingrich is somebody that the movement and republican party need a lot right now. host: san diego, on the
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republican line. caller: when sarah palin was proposed as vice-president -- and i am a stop to republican -- i felt like we had given up and were looking for the one bang to make a difference. on your books title "rendezvous with destiny" -- how did that come about? guest: great question. in 1936 there was a young radio broadcaster at who station in des moines, iowa. as you might remember, fdr
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famously said, to some generations much is given, and from others much is expected. the young radio broadcaster heard the dam. the broadcaster was dutch reagan. the history of this title goes back further. there was a poem written in 1918 by an american who have volunteered to join the french foreign legion in world war i. he wrote a poem called "i have a rendezvous with death" which was a romantic poem and unfortunately was true as he was killed in the battle of the psalm. the poem was published posthumously. president kennedy loved it so much that is what memorized it to repeated to him often.
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one fellow around fdr was familiar with the pond. he took "rendezvous with the death" and turned it into a " rendezvous with destiny" for his speech at the democratic convention. ronald reagan heard it and always used it in his important speeches. the one with goldwater in 1964, >> tomorrow, bloomberg news with an update on the commercial residential real-estate markets. then, charles fishman and on the impact of the economy in the downturn. after that, the office of the
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vice-president and how it has changed over the years. plus some of your emails, tweets, and phone calls. next, a discussion of the new york historical society of america's future and its place in the world. at 8 eastern, the first of three nights of original documentaries on the iconic columns of the three branches of american government. we start tonight with an inside look at the supreme court. after that, a debate on the future of capitalism with former congressman and journalists. the friday, for the first time in history, parliament opens chambers as the parliament debates in the house of congress -- commons.
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also, jayson blair on why he fabricated and addressed new stores. also, have world threat's been over high -- over-hyped? including a university of virginia panel of how the political process has been affected. and facebook founder chris hughes on how social networking changes the political process. this weekend on c-span. >> on this vote, yeas are 60, nays are 30. 3/5ths having voted affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moves the debate over health care to the floor. through december, follow the entire debate and how it will affect abortion, taxes, and
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medicare. on c-span two. earlier this month, the new york historical society held a debate on america's future and its place in the world. we will hear from mark zuckerman and richard haas. this is an hour and a half. >> the question of america's decline does nothing new. go back to that. when the popular refrain was, " come home america," and isolation was on the rise.
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many said that our form of government was different than the soviet union, but it was not necessarily better. we had to learn to live without, not to mention the rising price of oil, the emergence of the middle east cartel, the first bout of hyperinflation, high unemployment, and the idea of stagflation was going. then came the 1980's, and almost everything went in precisely the opposite direction, which is why this panel is not called america in decline. i am not suggesting that last time was an anomaly or that this time will necessarily be different. but tonight, the question will be what our esteemed analysts think about the future of the united states as we stand here at the end of 2009.
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we really have an extraordinary group of panelists. let me just share their introduction so everyone knows who they are. i have learned that people like introductions. certainly, i like it louise gives me that wonderful introduction. we will first hear from richard haas, counsel for relations, who has worked with two presidents. as council president, he has truly been an entrepreneurial leader. it has always been important, but richard has he brought many scholars and expertise and wide range of subjects. his most recent book is called a " war of necessity, war of joyce," -- "war of necessity,
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war of choice." glenn hubbard is no ordinary academic. he is dean of columbia business and a tenured professor of finance and economics at the columbia school of arts and sciences. he has worked for the treasury and as a consultant to the federal reserve bank, and recently he wrote a book called "healthy, wealthy, and wise -- five steps to better health care system." next is robert keeton -- kag an, senior associate at the carnegie endowment for international peace. he has served in the state department as a member of the policy planning and writes a monthly column for the washington post-and is the author of a great history book,
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dangerous nation, america's place in the world. finally, we have mort zuckerman. his activities span the world of business, where he is co-founder of one of the largest and most successful real estate empires in the country. and the media world. as co-publisher of the new york daily news, his editorial voice in those publications and many others is a strong and powerful one, and he provides deep insight on many questions. each of us will talk for of five minutes to explain their views, and then he will -- i will try
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and engage a panelist for questions i have prepared and we will do that for 20 minutes or 25 minutes. at that point in time, we will open it up. with that, let me welcome richard haas. [applause] >> let me thank roger, not just for assembling my colleagues tonight, but for all that he does to introduce the themes i talk about in the next few minutes. his contributions are important. you cannot discuss the future of the united states without discussing the future of others in the world. to put it another way, the las vegas metaphor does not work. what happens here will not stay here.
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it will go there. what happens there will not stay there, it will come here. so our future, for better or worse, is inextricably intertwined with the future of others. at the risk of being misunderstood, though, let me say something about our future. the united states will continue to grow economically, maybe not as robustly, but it will continue to grow, it will continue to get stronger militarily. so by absolute measures, we will grow and get stronger. we begin from a higher base, as opposed to those who have gdp in the whole or per-capita. that is simply a fact of life. the fact that the united states will decline in relative terms, relative terms, is neither good nor bad in itself.
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it just is. indeed, one of the great moments, the golden year as, was the aftermath of world war two, were the united states grew absolutely, declined relatively, and engineered that decline, and a principal part of it was called the marshall plan. the idea of a relative decline is not bad, but it depends what happens here. what is the pace and nature of change and what happens elsewhere in the relationship between the two. let me just say something about the two sides of the future. what happens elsewhere, what happens here. economic growth is inevitable, particularly in asia, the most dynamic part of the world, and we would like to stay that way for the foreseeable future. and the growth in others is something we cannot control.
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in principle, the fact that others get stronger gives them potential to contribute more and become part, so the challenge for american foreign policy is to influence how others use their guerin -- growing strength and capabilities, to integrate them into an international order with the arrangements that we take the lead in shaping. essentially to help give them skin in the game said it will play the game are rules that we support. we want -- we do not want anyone to think, any leader to think that they can gain more for their country were themselves by overthrowing the rules of the game, by violating them. essentially, we want them to stay inside international relations as we promote them. one principal way to do this is through trade.
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for others to export to us, they need to maintain high levels of employment. that is one reason, for example, that the u.s.-china trade imbalance, rather than a source of great concern, is also something that gives china something in international or early arrangements. we can keep in the game and want to with financing. what others to work with us with climate change, dealing with endemic diseases. we're trying to slow terrorist record and an act of terrorism. this is essential the goal of american foreign policy, to integrate others as they inevitably grow stronger, both in absolute terms and relative
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to us. for ourselves, there's a different goal. that is to make sure the united states stays strong enough so we can participate on the world tries to tackle these global problems and also to discourage anyone from thinking they have more to gain for overthrowing the system rather than working within it. we do not want anybody to be tempted to become what energy -- henry kissinger called a revolutionary power. that will not just happen. it will require us to get stronger, and that means, of other things, we need to take steps to get our economic house in order, to reduce our deficit, not to eliminate it overnight, but to set it on a path toward gradual reduction. we need to educate ourselves. we do not have the citizenry able to cope with the challenges of the 20th-century, and we need to think of education as not to
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something and people do, but something that is a life of an enterprise. we need to build economic safety net so people continue to get agitated -- educated. we need to change immigration policy and get beyond the obsession and think about how the united states once again opened its borders and long numbers to a highly educated people who can help for kendall of culture and the reality of innovation so they can stay here when they have so much to contribute. we need an energy policy and independence, an unrealistic goal, but it would help reduce consumption on fossil fuels. lots more, but we need to put our domestic house in order, essentially. let me say that the biggest question facing the united states is not the rise of islam
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or anyone else or terrorism or anything like it. the biggest question facing the united states is ourselves. it is rather whether institutions are ready for the challenge to function and tackle real challenges. i do not have the answer to that. in the past, we have the capacity of making ourselves, of dynamism. it is more a political science question as to whether our politics will allow our country to tackle the deficit, or whether politics are so entrenched that they have made these problems tragic. at the end of the day, what makes history more than anything else is people and ideas. i believe again that the child
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-- the trial for us is to continue to create a political process for people and ideas to proper. i'm afraid that the answer to that is not obvious. i think there are real questions about whether the politics of the united states, whether the institutions have become sufficiently sclerotic, and special interests, whether we are in a position to assert leadership. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you for your leadership. this is an amazing place. when roger asked me to speak this evening, he said, i want you to talk about the entire future. listening, 22 minutes can give you the whole world.
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i want to do something really simple and focus on only two numbers as a touchdown. because this is a said the toll of history, i want to frame and in a historical story. back to 1959. interesting impromptu exchange between then-vice president nixon and premier khrushchev on consumer goods and the notion of whist country is better able to satisfy consumer wants. nixon pointed out when challenged record show the superiority of color television. but this was a big deal for president nixon. his knowledge that the u.s. might not fare so well in the comparison about missile construction or thrust.
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fast forward a year to the debate with senator kennedy for the presidency. kennedy called nixon on that and said it is on acceptable, senator kennedy, that we would say this, because clearly missile thrust is more important, and as an economist, what is more important to me is what the vice-president said. nothing. the correct answer is the superiority of the united states, because of a small critically important number called productivity growth. one of the things that will determine our future is the pace of that growth. vice-president nixon's error was a simple one, but it really was the key to why the race between the united states and soviet union was vastly different.
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there was also an essential air -- error. crucial for got a simple number. the no. i'm about to say is a constant. it never changes. it is called 100%. the tierney of 100% is that the shares of government spending must add to 100%. why do i raise an obvious fact of arithmetic? what crucial for got -- khrushchev forgot was that an allocation towards defense is simply with the resources of the productive sectors of the economy, undermining productivity growth. in the same argument of
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government spending shares adding to 100%, our tierney has to do with missiles -- not missiles for defense, but entirely -- entitlement spending, looking forward and spending so much more on our entitlement programs that we must have the ability to project american authority and defense or educate our children, a simple number that the congressional budget office tells us if we do not do anything, 25 years from now we will consume 10 percentage points of american gdp, more than they do today. for that to happen, crowding out would occur. these two numbers give a snap the pitch to the story, which is that productivity growth is so important, what can we do about it? two things we can do about it are to write the shift of our
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financial system, which is a bulwark of our strength in recent decades and to pick up on something richard said, to continue to promote openness in the american agenda and free trade. on entitlements, we cannot raise taxes sufficiently to fund promises under current law. i make that statement less as a matter of politics as arithmetic. to do so would crowd out the entire increase in american growth that has happened in the past 20 years. i would just wind up with the point richard concluded on, which is that the real thing here has to do with these numbers, the tyranny of 100% and productivity growth. they are not economic insights. there's a real question as to whether we can deliver not only the right outcome for productivity growth but the
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right mix for our budget. because i am the eternal optimist, i would close with the note that american history has been replete with such arguments on the economic side. we have been successful, and we will. [applause] >> thank you. then a star with three stipulations. one is that we have had this discussion practically every decade for the last four about impending american decline, but that does not mean we are not right to be having now. we've gone through this before, in the late-80's, and secondly, i would stipulate that what goes up must come down and the united states is not going to be no. 1 forever. at some point, and the question is, are we at that point, 20
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years away, a century away, or more? that is the question. if we are counting on the quality of our political leadership and the abandonment of special interests, we are again dead. because my reading of american history is that that is the norm, not the exception, people rising above the norm is rare, and we succeed despite all of our sclerotic politics. and that is why bismarck said god looks after drugs, children, and the united states of america. i want to try and dispel to debut exaggerations' that i think lead us to accept pessimism about our current situation. one is the tremendous
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overestimation of the power we had. i heard that america can no longer do everything it wanted to do. i do not remember the time where that is true. if you look of the entire history of the cold war, it was marked a lot by not being able to do what we wanted to do until we were finally able to do what we wanted to do. but if you look at the time frame that people talk about a decade around the end of world war two, if you think about the events, the marshall plan and reestablishment of nato and getting europe's trade, other things happened. the iron curtain fell, and that shook the entire cold war in an adverse way. there was a major setback soviet
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testing of a hydrogen bomb, the korean war, and the 1950's. the united states still enjoys a substantial of vantage as a great power and super power. one is the oldest behalf, which is geographic. we're the only major power that does not live in the neighborhood, doing major power. this is what i call the wolf fourth principle, because it is by a political scientist by that name illustrating it.
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if you look at the major powers like china, russia, and india, in order to get to where they are perched american power, long before they get to the point, they will get to those around them that have, as geography has it, some other part to look for for assistance. so as china grows bigger and stronger, it is not surprising that we find greater eagerness or more american involvement in the region, not less. and i think although our west european friends are in different, our eastern friends are not, so there is a natural checking mechanism. it does not have to work, but it is something that other powers have to overcome that we do not have to. so that is a natural thing. i continue to believe that we're the most dynamic economy even as we are going for doldrums, and
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it is up to other people in the panel to say whether something we're doing now is fundamentally changed that dynamism to the time where we can no longer be dynamic, but our ability to adapt historically to changing circumstances has been greater than those of other countries. i am not persuaded that is no longer the case. finally, there is the fact of our enormous defense capability, not just measured in the size of our $600 million budget deficit, roughly 3.5% of our gdp, which is a very large number, 3.5% -- it is historically a low number. we were spending up to 8% in the cold war. upwards towards 15% to 20% in the first decades. so our ability to sustain high spending is substantial, and in addition, to the extent in which
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the debilities for personnel training are there, it is far better than potential competitors. there are weaknesses, potentially, and pitfalls i worry about. we have mortgaged our future, that will have an affect on our power, but that is not something that we cannot do anything about. i worry about the strength of our allies, because if you want to talk about relative decline in the world, the unmistakable decline is for our european allies. they are in a state of decline, spending less and less, less capability, falling behind. now have to worry about china, which soon will be of spending the entire european union in dollars and capabilities, and also russia and india. so i worry about our allies and about ourselves for different reasons. i worry that we are prone to commit suicide for want of being
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murdered. by which i mean that we will convince ourselves that we are in decline before we are actually in decline and begin to take actions which, in fact, hasten our decline. we begin in particular to start ceding power and authority to other great powers before it is necessary or right to do so. thereby, in a way, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy. that is the shorthand. i will be happy to talk about it in our questions and answers. finally, does it matter? richard suggests, i think, that is neither here or there and it just depends what. we were declining relative to our european partners during the cold war, during the and, relative to japan. i do not consider that actual decline. if your allies robert, you get stronger. that was the genius.
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where is different and i disagree with some is to talk about china in the same way. i do not see china as a future partner and buddy and strategic pal of the united states. i see china as a competitor. i think that they see themselves as a competitor. i do not think it will be easy for us to sway them from that notion because it is so fundamentally true. we can talk about this in the question and answer, but when we talk about integrating powers, especially rising powers, there's the question, do they want to be integrated? we're asking them to be integrated into a system of our making. it serves our interests. the one system that serves our interests and is of their choosing, and i think our ability to integrate will to a certain extent be limited and we will have to engage in old- fashioned realist activity of balancing and checking as we try to integrate. i know that richard does not
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disagree with that. let's not kid ourselves that it does not matter. there is a lot about the situation that is the product of american power, and i think that a lot of people live under the illusion that we can proceed but all the things we like will stay the same. that is an illusion. things we like about the world will begin to disappear as other people shape the world in ways that we may not like. thank you. [applause] .
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>> it was a great magnet for talent from canada. when i went to graduate school in the united states, i ended up owing $500 to my law school. i had something like a 7-year- old chevrolet. i had a wonderful experience in this country. in many ways, there are unique -- it was perfectly cared -- it clear to me that a body with energy and talent would want to move here because of the opportunities created -- and not just in terms of economic opportunities, but in general.
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it open society from the bottom up and like a place like canada or england that was more of the top down society. there was much less present -- prejudice. despite all of this experience that would have made me very optimistic on some new levels, i have developed an increasing sense of pessimism about where we're going in the future. the main reason for that, frankly, is the propensity of the american system now to produce weekly -- leadership to paralyze that leadership. without it, we will have a difficult time solving the myriad of problems that we are trying to grapple with. the emergence of this kind of
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leadership where, in a sense, the national interest is put more head of the political interest -- it has always been a part of the history of the united states. what worries me is the rare inability of leadership to concern itself -- to discern itself as leadership. we're living in york where someone came out of the wilds and gave the impression for a very long time that he put the interest of the city ahead of his own political interests. for that reason, his role was enhanced. this is a country that is hungry for that kind of leadership, and we don't see it very often. this is the exception to the rule. what worries me about the ability to produce the right kind of leadership is the nature of our political system and the nature of the role of the media.
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i find myself a little bit puzzled. it in terms of our political system, unlike the british system where you have the cabinet and the majority in the house of commons so that your executive and legislative branch comes out of the same party. it doesn't mean you will be reelected, but you can make decisions that will be made legislation. at least there is the chance to implement major programs. we have a system now where the legislator has hundreds of different constituencies and is responsive to various elements and is almost always with depressing ready, you get the sense of people not putting the national interest ahead of their political interest. it is extraordinarily difficult to deal with the issues, whether
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it be health care reform or a stimulus program we have a political system that is not conducive to general leadership. it doesn't mean -- is much more difficult to imagine that occurring that it is. this is something that worries me enormously. it is easy to talk about what would be wise international or domestic policy. it is much more difficult to implement it. the fragmentation of political power is an enormous cost involved in running for office and staying in office. there factors that have emerged in the most recent decade. it seems to me to suggest -- we
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will meet increasingly going forward. we have always had the luxury of being shielded. canada was not a threat to the united states. no matter what you may have thought, we're not taking over the country in any way. it is very difficult to attack the united states. one thing is the absolute shock to the system that came out of 9-11 -- 9/11. it was the first time we had an attack on our soil since the british attacked the white house. it happened a scale that will completely upset the whole country.
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i do not know if we have the capacity to deal with these kinds of issues. there is such an emotional response that makes it very difficult to govern, and the role of the media does not help. particularly when the media is more visual than it is reality. the images tell partial truth, the humans do not tell the truth. they distort the american political system and indeed, the american political issue. it is astounding to me to see how people can claim a victory on today's news stories. it is going on today, as we speak. i find it very discouraging. i remained optimistic about the qualities of american society. its willingness to recognize merit -- the one thing that is
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disturbing to me is the corruption. not just an economic corruption, but in terms of the money that it takes to dominate the media on one level or another and how this can be presented to the american public in ways that really did not tell an accurate story. i have no answer to that unless the other members of the panel decide to run for office. [applause] >> what i would like to do is engage with our panel members. initially, we will do a couple of foreign policy questions and we will do the economic question. i would just ask that we try to keep our answers as brief as possible. not so brief to say nothing, but brief enough so that we get a
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lot accomplished in this time. . -- time period. i think we have to ask ourselves this question. i will ask you this, richard and bob. will we have to learn to live with red as a nuclear power -- with i raran as a nuclear power? and will begin this weapon to states like saudi arabia, syria, egypt, turkey, jordan? and what will that do going forward? -- in terms of united states security and global security? >> the short answer is will we have to live with iran as a
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state with nuclear weapons, i would certainly hope not. it would provide a backdrop for which there foreign-policy which is already plenty assertive -- this is a principle states sponsor of terrorism. this is the group that is the principal backer of such entities as hezbolla and hamas. an iran with a nuclear weapon would be an extraordinarily bad strategic element. it would place the middle east on something of a hair trigger the next time there were as confrontation between israel and iran, or one of the proxy's. proliferation would not stop there. if iran were to gain nuclear- weapons, several of the arab
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regimes might reconsider their own policies or positions. as bad as the middle east is today, the idea of a middle east with multiple fingers on multiple triggers ought to be -- the question is, can you stop it? , one is with the negotiation. i have no idea whether that is negotiable. it is right to try. we will see if we can get the russians and the chinese to join the united states and europeans with a bank of sanctions. given what is going on within iran, nobody would consider with certainty that the negotiations will succeed. the principal alternative is military force in my own view.
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the united states would buy a small amount of time, perhaps a couple of years. i do not believe it would change the basics. that would be the principal, a lesson derived by most iranians i would worry that a military strike would short circuit the most interesting and promising political dynamic in the middle east, which is the rise of the islamic revolution. i feel a little bit like yogi berra, if there is a fork in the road, take it. we have no particularly attractive options. we have to look at deterrence.
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>> i do not have much to add to what richard said except that if you look back at history at all the times when people say, if only this country had done this, it could have forestalled the horrors to come. if only the french had stopped hitler. if only britain had been able to land the force on the continent that would deter germany before world war one. they are immensely difficult. immensely dangerous. if the actions had been taken, people would blame them for doing it. this is what of those things that of course, it is terribly difficult, but i do believe that as we look back on those episodes, if we look back on this and say that we did not stop iran from getting nuclear weapons, we will consider it a missed element with big consequences.
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what is interesting to me is that the breadth of opinion runs from the right to all the way to the non-proliferation. some of the most fervent in the administration are about non- proliferation. you'll get tremendous proliferation following a iran. people see venezuela or brazil drizzling -- pursuing nuclear weapons. the notion that iran can go ahead and do this without consequences is astounding. if something is unacceptable, you have to do [unintelligible] >> is there anyone there really thinks that when the administration says that is unacceptable, will they do anything about it?
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it is hard for me to understand. they are an administration committed to engagement. it is the use of the kind of force that it would take to deter a regime like iran. there is concern in parts of the arab world over whether or not this is an administration that is willing to be tough. as a major leader said, we're not sure that the united states has the will to confront its enemies. we don't even know if they have the will to support their friends. i think that if iran and its achievement of nuclear capabilities is going to be the litmus test, and if all the estimates are right, this is going to happen in the next 18 months.
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it is certainly a new world. i can't imagine that we hope -- it is something i don't see happening. does anybody here think that the administration is going to oppose force? -- oppose iran with force? >> the pentagon is close to acquiring a deep penetration conventional weapon. why this news has made it to television, i don't know. but i suspect. stranger things have happened in history. i do not rule out the possibility that the administration would take that action. in >> let's talk about taxes.
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[laughter] the administration plans to raise income-tax is as taxes on related items from health care to energy. with these projected increases, we will be flirting with a 60% federal marginal rate, on top of which there are state and local taxes. what will be the impact of these kinds of changes in our tax policy relative to economic growth? in a given that the driving force in this administration or any would be how you create jobs. can this strategy work? what would you recommend? >> those are a lot of great
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questions. for the dismal science to become the more entertaining part is a rare thing. i would begin by saying that marginal taxes are high -- [unintelligible] what the american people for get and what our leaders often forget -- the really fundamental finance decisions are about spending. taxes and deficits are accounting terms that pay for spending. we either pay for today or we shift the bill to our children. are we locking ourselves on to a spending trajectory that necessarily implies tax increases? if we don't make changes soon, absolutely. we have entitlements alone in a commitment to spend 10% of american gdp. we might cut back on defense and
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education, but we are on the hook for a tax increase. economists that have studied the link between taxes and growth, if we raised taxes as much as it would take to validate the end of this president's budget, we would probably crowd out about a full percentage point of american gdp growth. that is the entire dividend that we got from productivity since the 90's. these are not nesmall numbers. economists -- the reason i say it is necessary, we cannot raise taxes with the current system enough to accommodate. for a variety of reasons, we will see that. you asked about jobs.
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the first is to focus. if you really want to focus on the economy, don't be simultaneously trying to do cap-in-trade and health care. try to figure out what you want to do. we have been talking about mandates in the health care bill, set to increase taxes, all of these things are job killers. that would include a focus on basic skills. >> let me just ask you a related question. i know you have written on it. the congressional budget office has projected that over the next 10 years, national debt will rise from 41% of gross domestic
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product which it was in 2008, to 82%. two related questions. will we be able to fund this debt without destroying the credibility of the dollar? and relatedly, will we be forced to raise interest rates enough to get them to buy these bonds? what is the risk underlying the nascent economic growth? >> it is clear was pessimistic in my first comment. i think we are in a very strange position as a country in macro economic and microeconomic terms. we have had a shock to the system that is really unprecedented.
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it is affected -- it has affected the attitudes of american business. they can make quite a bit more money by cutting costs. the cost is going down. what does that mean? they're letting people go and they are not going to rehire as many people that had been hired when we come out of recessions. other discretionary expenditures which probably have national significance -- i refer you to advertising in print. this is really a national tragedy. wherever business has really looked at their operations and really -- i think productivity went up something like 9% in the third quarter.
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at an unprecedented and probably unsustainable number. it tells you something about where the american business world is. we will see a continuation of this as we go forward. because virtually -- in a sense, the growth of the economy is primarily going to be keeping costs under control. the opportunities for hiring or rehiring is the lowest it has been in the last 30 or 50 years. the attitude has changed, and it has changed for consumers. we were on a consumer binge that was sustained by borrowing. that is no longer sustainable. the attitude of the consumer has changed.
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we will see -- i don't see how we will be able to sustain -- we will have to do it. as we were implying, there is tremendous downward pressure on the ability of the american economy to grow. i do not think that we're going to be in a position -- we have no choice about that -- debt. if you have too much credit card debt, or a disproportionate low in relation to the value of your home, if you lose your job, you still have to pay your debts. so we will be in the same position as a country. the issue of that has become a
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more serious political issue. the country is really worried about the assumption of debt and what it means for succeeding generations. it goes in the same issue that i find pretty deeply troubling. the about the deficits that we are building into our system are really staggering. if you look at the health care system carefully, it is going to add dramatically to our national debt. it is going to be virtually impossible politically. i am in favor of health-care reform, just not this particular form of it. not only will the economy be squeezed, but the public will have a very different attitude. it would be wonderful if that was not the case, i just --
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>> i can't put a probability on it, but you raise china as well. china and the u.s. raised the issue of being virtuous, but not yet. make a change about what you have done gradually. the u.s. needs to gradually increase. china needs to go the other way. they need to strengthen safety nets to reduce their savings. >> one or two more questions and we will open it up to you guys.
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between 1945 and 1989, the united states went through what is called the long war. the cold war. the cold war against the soviet union. are we got a similar time, but the time of some form of conflict -- are we not in a similar time? the time of some form of conflict? how do we have bill ourselves domestically? ? there is some sort of a conflict or struggle with terrorism that is done in the name of islam. i'm not particularly wild about the metaphor that suggests that military instruments, soldiers, battlefields -- none of those
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things seem to be right. one is for people that have made a career choice to be terrorists. we have got to stop them. the best analogy i am able to think of is disease. attack it where you can. you've got to build recovery mechanisms. we're likely to see another -- that is part of what we have to do. we have to go after terrorists in the country's -- counties. that is easier said than done as we see every day with pakistan. pakistan is a painful reminder.
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the bigger challenge is to get to people before they make a career choice. we want to somehow interrupted the recruiting chain because there is a limited number of terrorists. there is an unlimited number of what you might call potential terrorists. that requires getting inside the education system, getting inside the process by which religious leaders are taught and trained. at the top of the list, that includes influencing saudi policy. it has been the most unhealthy. it means getting inside pakistan in figuring out ways to bolster the government so they can change the curriculum.
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to borrow from the late great political scientist, in order to avoid a clash between civilizations, we have to do what we can to stimulate a clash within the sterilization. -- with any civilization. -- within the civilization o. it limits with the u.s. government can do. u.s. foundations and universities can play a role. for muslims to have within their own societies -- if we limit ourselves to going after existing terrorists, that will be a loser's game. i never forgot what the ira told her.
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dillard and they came close. they said that we felt tonight, but you have to succeed 100 percent of the time. we don't. we hope that we succeed 100% of the time. as good as we are, we can't expect to succeed 100% of the time. we have got to somehow figure ways of getting inside the recruiting chain of these organizations. >> in the largest sense, this struggle is going to be with us for a long time. with all respect to richard, i am always told that my foreign- policy is too ambitious. but the notion that a judeo- christian culture will get inside their heads and convince them to go in a different
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direction -- i agree with you that they have to deal with it by our ability to -- influence their decision. what i worry about, and i was critical of the bush administration for this, his foreign-policy that is built around fighting that struggle. there is too much else going on for us to focus only on this. to see everything going on through the lens of this struggle. the paradox is, as richard says, the risk of making a mistake is so high that the risk of not stopping is so high. you can't make it the only focus of your foreign policy. he had to do your best to deal with this. the other great powers -- i do not want us to lose focus by --
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i don't think the military will have a tremendous amount of these struggles. i would say that if you ask me to put money down right now as to whether or not we will wind up taking military action in somalia before the end of the obama administration, i would say it is better than 50%. there'll be times that we will not be able to permit them taking over that territory. is the higher likelihood of death in his chosen career. >> one second. i just have to requests.
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-- two requests. no political statements, grand visions, or geopolitical strategies. i just want -- just one question per person. this gentleman is the most eager. he probably has a real soft ball. >> i am impressed with all the members of the panel. whether it is in regard to iran or regard to combating islamic fundamentalism/terrorism, in terms of what you read in the newspapers, china, russia, and other players -- are they at divergent points of view with
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the united states? the press reports are indicating they're coming around a little bit, but not cooperating. wouldn't it be the case that they would also have an interest in combating this as well. -- as well? >> the question is whether china and russia are against nuclear weapons. they are. the real question is if they will do something to make that not come to pass. they seem reluctant to introduce or support the kind of robust sanctions that might actually place something in a helpful role. they're both also worried about iranian support of subversion within their territory. russia and china fear the
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impact. they're both likely to be what you might call limited partners. the process that is under way, the negotiating phase is going to persuade the iranians that the risks are greater than what they perceive to be the benefits. >> the0 this gentleman right here. -- this gentleman right here. >> they seem to have these long- distance missiles. >> we didn't have to ask the
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question, can we learn to live with nuclear weapons? we are already living with north korea at the's nuclear weapons. -- north korea's nuclear weapons. i hope that we will build a missile defenses to deter them from doing that. north korea has so few foreign policy options. they are so bottled up in their miserable corner of the world. if your japan, you don't feel this way. -- if you are japan, you do not feel this way. we learn a great deal more about iran posing nuclear-weapons -- iran's nuclear weapons. i stay up late at night less over north korea. >> the big question i have is china.
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the one country that has potentially decisive moves on north korea is china and they have decided not to exercise it so far. we need to get china to play a more helpful role to reassure them about what -- that ought to be the ultimate foreign policy goal. there are limits to what i believe we can do. if the north koreans don't do it themselves, it is in beijing. >> yes, sir? that's it. >> one question, where do we get
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the resources to deal with the kinds of things being proposed? [inaudible] we haven't got the forces or the manpower. and we don't have the resources financially. or any of the other things going on. somebody please give me an answer. >> i believe we have the military capabilities. there may be a lot of post of and consequences. we do have the military capacity to be able to knock out virtually everything that iran is doing, assuming we know where most of it is. i don't think that is the issue.
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we're spending billions of dollars on our military costs. by almost any standards, that will give us the military capability. as you know, i think our biggest are not going to be on the military side, but on the civilian side of things. these are going to be enormous and growing costs that are not going to be sustainable. if anybody wants to hear david walker, who is now the head of the peterson institute, he knows these facts inside and out. those costs are very frightening in terms of our ability to see them over the next decade. >> there is no question that the united states can finance an elaborate defense establishment
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in the educational system, strong public goods, and a good safety net. we are, as he says, on an unsustainable path. the taxes that we raised are incompatible. we must make a decision as a country. we either cut back over the next generation, or we will cut back everything else. >> we have got to get a microphone. >> we seem to be facing a decision on afghanistan right now. the president seems to be getting conflicting advice. where would you come down on this issue, and how would you justified it -- justify the incursions into afghanistan?
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>> you may end up getting conflicting device if you go to some of my colleagues on this panel. i think afghanistan is a war of choice. what general mcchrystal has suggested, we have a range of options. in order to make a large investment in afghanistan, is somehow central to the effort. there is nothing special or unique about afghan real-estate. there are lots of other places where al qaeda and groups like it are holing up. it may become a sanctuary where
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the taliban can undermine pakistan. if they are already don't have pakistan as a sanctuary. i am not arguing that afghanistan is irrelevant. i just don't see it as critical to the effort against terrorism or the future of pakistan. i don't think the general has made the case -- this is really at the heart of the president's dilemma. would it, in the long run, accomplish anything? would the results be commensurate with the investment? if we put in 40,000 more troops, things will improve. i have no doubt about that given the talent of the u.s. military. the real question is, will it and door once we dial it back? -- endure once we dial it back.
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there is also the reality of corruption that we're not going to get rid of. i do not see it as producing commensurate results. i would roughly stay where they are for the time being. i would put an emphasis on training rather than more fighting. i would put much greater resources into pakistan, and i would except at the end of the day, there are limits to what we can accomplish. that is something to you have to keep in mind. you have got to respect political culture. there is a limited ability of the united states to transform them.
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>> of what this is about pakistan that was interesting. we used to have telephone conversations with the president of pakistan. i would ask him, what can we do to stabilize your country? his in answer was, textile quotas. think of all the things you can do, but textile quotas? >> it would employ a lot of women and it would help me politically. the congress will not allow an increase in textile quotas for pakistan because of domestic political interests. i went back and said, is there anything else? he said, we have a shortage of flour. i could dispense it to various parts of the country and it would help me. even that could not be done. the when you think about what we
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can do, it is really a challenge to come up with something that will have durability. i do feel sorry -- it is sorrya mcchrystal strategy. it was asked that he imlement an obama strategy. after a strategic review, he said that this is what we must do. he then turned to general mcchrystal to get advice. he said that afghanistan was a war of necessity. this is not something that the president of the united states can easily do in reverse himself and saying that -- and say that karzai is corrupt. he was corrupt months ago. this is not new.
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how do we get the president out of the box that he put himself in? >> bob, do what to say something about this? >> union and entirely different point of view? -- you mean an entirely different point of view? we're not showing enough imagination. it is easy to say that we should maintain the current levels. the question was, he is facing conflicting advice. his problem is that he is gotten too much of the same advice from military. they'll think that current levels are trajectory toward defeat. if you maintain current levels, we talk about the ft. we're not showing enough imagination about that. the consequence is not negligible.
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almost everywhere we've never fought -- we've ever gought, -- fought, the consequences are still the same. who knows what happens in afghanistan, and who knows what the ripple effect is around the world. when we talk in terms of a massive increase in forces, at least from my historical perspective, that is not a massive number by any stretch of the imagination. we have employed numbers of troops overseas in combat situations. the philippines -- the war comes to mind in 1900. not to mention the thousands of troops in vietnam.
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an additional 40,000 troops is somehow unthinkably massive. i believe it is mistaken. finally, the 40,000 troops make a difference? none of us are experts, but what i believe is the goal of the 40,000 troops is to get to the point where richard wants to get to, creating enough space to create stability to beat back the taliban sufficiently as the train the forces. the strategy is to get -- the only way out as forward. we have to fight our way, and if we keep current levels, it will be a very unpleasant experience. >> this is a follow-on to rogers initial question about iran turning into a nuclear power.
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i heard the panel state a couple of options. one dealt with negotiations, and the other dealt with military action. i propose a third option, having spent a fair amount of time with leaders of the green party. they believe that their adoption is regime change. they feel that june 12 was a the -- basically, the great many iranians said that they were willing to not only go out and the streets, but to die and be tortured for what they thought was the right thing. is there a way that intelligently, we can bring our
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power to help those three human- rights efforts or even through some form of severe sanctions that would strengthen the green party? >> i believe there are three options before you get to regime change. there is use of military force, and living with it. regime change is an important idea, because to put it bluntly, if iran had a clear weapons, but it was a very different terrain, it would not keep us up as much. >> a good point. >> but the fact that it is this iran run by the clerics in the revolutionary guard -- the events in june have lit a fuse,
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and it has raise real questions in the arm of political legitimacy. the political regime has been hijacked by these characters. the problem for policymakers -- it is easy to see the title and a nuclear development than the timeline on political change. i suspect that we would prefer to see political change in iran. their limited tools that we, as outsiders -- the imbalance is pretty clear. my hunch is that so long as this regime is released to kill and incarcerate large numbers of its own people, my fear is that it will stay in power long enough and then some to develop nuclear
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weapons if that is, in fact, what it wants to do. i believe we should. it is sort of a backdrop for policy, but i don't think that we have the luxury of making american foreign policy to say that is going to be the policy we're going to count on to resolve this problem for us. regime change in the case of the soviet union took 40 or 70 years. by then, iran can have a lot of nuclear weapons. i would be happy to look at ideas of accelerating the process, but i don't think that you can walk into the oval office and say, mr. president, i am confident that we have a policy that would bring about regime change quickly enough to be able to make it likely that a less malign iran would emerge.
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>> the last question on this side. ma'am? this lady here. >> can hear me? i called the when a couple of months ago asking them questions. my question was, while of this -- why are all of these countries becoming clear all of a sudden? -- nuclear all of a sudden? what happened that everybody wanted to be nuclear? [unintelligible] they say that france gave it to them. it is sort of an accepted and
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the secret agreement. obama is going along with the whole thing. i think it made everybody want to be nuclear. we have our money, our money, our money. i sorta think -- i have great not -- grandchildren now. what in the hell went wrong? when i called the u.n., i never got an answer. everyone i asked a question transferred me to another number. nobody hung up. >> thank you for the question. mort, you are the answer man.
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>> when richard was referring to the possibility that belgium had nuclear weapons and it would not -- the same thing is true if israel has nuclear weapons. let's assume that they do. they're not under aggressive expansionist power. there is the idea that they can deter 7.5 million people surrounded by countries that are surrounded by -- that are the size of the united states. it does not worry me, frankly, that israel has nuclear weapons. i think it is clear that they would be using them for defensive purposes. and only to try and protect their country. they will use conventional weapons well in advance. the real danger now is that
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there is a country that is emerging that has threatened the very existence of israel, and that is iran. how do you deal with that? iran is clearly doing whatever they can to develop nuclear weapons, and they have not only expansion in terms of israel, but they believe by a large that iran is -- i was in egypt several months ago. they. a hezbolla cell there. what were they going to do? they were trying to blow up the ship in the suez canal, because the revenues from tourism are the two major economic supports for that regime. with them being fairly elderly, they hope to destabilize the regime so that the muslim
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brother can take over. i have spoken to most of the arab regimes. they're really concerned about iran pose the expansion. -- iran's expansion. you have to measure, if you can, the level of the intentions. [applause] >> thank you. we said we were going to end, so i apologize to many of you. i would like to ask you guys a couple of questions by a show of hands, just to get some sense of where you are on this. how many in this audience would increase our troop commitment in afghanistan by 30,000 or 40,000? that is probably a little over
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half, but it is a significant number. >> by what they're recorded vote. it looks like under half to me. >> a poor sample. the west side of new york. how many in this audience, from what you know, since i'm sure none of you have read the 2000 page health care bill, but how many are in favor of the public option? it's a big number. well over half. last question. by show of hands again, as a last resort, who are you in favor of using military intervention in iran? >>

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